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  • Writer's pictureLucy

How To Establish Your Professional Presence And Credibility Through Style

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

When it comes to establishing your presence and credibility in the professional world, your personal style has an important role to play.

By dressing well and in a way that represents your professional brand, you demonstrate that you take your role seriously and take pride in your appearance.

In this article, I'm going to teach you how to dress so that you are taken seriously and can walk into room or situation and instantly have credibility. And I'm going to show you how to do this without being boring or feeling like a stuffy businessman.

When I work with clients, they are confident in their professional ability and skillset. But there is a sense of self-doubt that comes from not feeling 100% confident in what they wear or how well their external presentation aligns with their professional role and identity.

They may see other female professionals or leaders who inspire them with their outfits and style choices, but they're not sure how to convert that into a look for themselves.

If this sounds like you, you're in the right place. Keep reading for my top tips on establishing your professional presence and credibility through personal style.

We're going to look at the basics of what you need to know as well as some more advanced tips that will help make sure you stand out from the crowd.

The most important factor in professional dress

What many people don't realize is that being appropriate is actually the most important factor in professional dress and establishing your credibility. That is, you are suitable for your environment and the situation.

Whether that means dressing more conservatively or more casual, or pushing the boundaries, the key is to know your audience and dress accordingly.

When you do this, it signals something to those around you - it shows that you understand what is most suited to your position, your industry and that you can represent the company.

Your style should reflect your authority and position, and remember, the more senior you are, the more people are looking up to you and will follow you - so dress professionally and well, and lead by example.

The goal is to look like you belong in the role you're in or aspiring to, without compromising your own sense of style.

In general, clean lines, modern cuts and well fitted attire looks sharp and professional.

If you are wanting to move up in seniority, then strive to dress according to the others at that level or even slightly above. That says to others that you're willing and ready for that next level of responsibility.

If you're unsure how to dress for a particular situation, err on the side of being more formal than less.

If you'd like to talk with me about your current style situation and how I might be able to help, book in a call with me here.

How to dress in today's common workplace environments

So now we know being appropriate is the most important factor in your professional dress and establishing your credibility, let's have a look at how you, as a female professional or leader, can dress in some common workplace environments.

In a smart casual environment, suit separates such as tailored blazers, pants and skirts pared back with blouses and shirts are smart and professional, while also allowing you to express your own sense of style. Smart cardigans can be a nice change from a blazer, and you can again add your own flair or personality through your shoes and jewellery choices.

In a casual environment, items that are a level down in their formality are appropriate. Blazers are more relaxed and unstructured, mid-dark denim is casual, yet professional and smart t-shirts, jumpers or cardigans can also be worn. Sneakers (in good condition) and more bold/fun jewellery are work appropriate in a casual environment, but your attire should still project professionalism and support both yours and the company's image.

Be consistent with your personal style

Now that we know what's appropriate for different environments, the next important part of establishing your professional presence and credibility through style is to be consistent.

When someone meets you the first time, they get a snapshot of you that helps to form their first impression. What then helps to build the know, like and trust factor is that subsequent snapshots and impressions of you are aligned and reinforce the first.

If someone meets you and continues to see you as well presented in your style, well groomed and consistent with your overall look, you are building a story about who you are and what you are capable of.

Here's some tips to help you be consistent with your personal style:

  1. Take photos and catalog your favourite outfits in an album on your phone. By doing this, you'll create some go-to looks which you can also replicate easily

  2. Plan your outfits in advance so you have the time consider what you are going to wear and aren't just choosing something because it's the only thing you have cleaned or ironed.

  3. Commit to investing the time to look well-presented - ensure your hair and makeup look polished and professional, your clothes are pressed, your shoes are in good condition and there's no fluff or hair on your outfit.

The key to creating stylish, professional outfits

Let's now look at the final part of how to build your professional presence through clothing and style.

And that is, putting pieces together well. A professional, stylish outfit is something that helps you be memorable to others and project confidence and presence.

One of my favourite ways of putting outfits together is to think about adding a third piece. If you have a pant or a skirt and top - which are your base pieces - adding a third piece is what helps to pull an outfit together and create an overall, complete look.

On their own, base pieces can tend to look bland.

You can see below some suggestions of what you can add to elevate your outfit into something truly stylish.

Personal Style Adding The Third Piece
Adding The Third Pieces Helps To Create Stylish Professional Outfits

If you'd like to talk with me about your current style situation and how I might be able to help, book in a call with me here.

When it comes to dressing for work, accessories are probably the easiest way to add a third piece and really complete your look.

Business smart accessories also give you a chance to add a little more creativity or personality to your outfits - just remember to be appropriate and strike the right balance between what is professional for your environment and authentically showcasing who you are.

Check out and shop my recommended Business Smart Accessories in both corporate and casual/creative environments.

Upleveling your presence and credibility is key to success in any field. By following the tips I've covered in this blog, you can make sure that you always look your best and convey the right message to those around you.

If you want even more help achieving this goal, please reach out to me. This is my area of expertise and I can help you create a wardrobe that will have people taking you seriously from the moment you walk into the room.

Book a call with me today to explore what working together looks like.


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